For the less than 3000 of University of North Texas students who voted in the SGA general election and the 3000 who voted in the runoff, Grant Hale has been elected as the next student body president.
According to UNT’s website there are over 37,000 students who attend this school. So why on earth did only 3000 vote in the general election?
In a time in which millennials are grilled over their apathy towards politics and life in general, this was our chance to show Denton and the greater DFW area that we care. This is something we could control; this is something we could have had a say in.
10 percent of the student body voted in the general election. I understand that college is crazy and there is limited free time on a daily basis. SGA knows this too, so they put the ballot online. You didn’t even need to leave your bed to vote. All said and done, the process took 10 minutes. 10 lousy minutes away from Netflix, and 90 percent of you didn’t do it.
Next year Mr. Hale will be the most powerful student at one of the largest schools in Texas, and 34,000 of you forfeited your right to take exception to his term in office. I am of the opinion that if you don’t take the time to get informed and cast a vote, you should not be allowed to complain when you disagree.
A common complaint I hear is that SGA does little to reach out to the student body. Both candidates reached out to their publics via social media and grassroots campaigning. Walking around campus I saw Sam DeLeon, who came in second in voting, and Grant Hale more than a handful of times, campaigning and urging people to vote.
Guys, in the coming presidential election, for the sake of our country, be better and try harder. Your vote counts. Indifference towards politics makes zero sense. If you are fed up with an institution, do something about it. Attend debates and town hall meetings, go to your local government and get informed on the issues. SGA did a fantastic job of holding public forums for students who wanted to get to know the candidates better. The information was out there. No one is going to hand-deliver a packet of pertinent information to you. SGA did its best, but at the end of the day the burden is on the electorate.
Do not misinterpret this as me being an ass. You only get one shot at college, why not make it the best experience possible? In my humble opinion, that experience starts with a well-rounded student government. I wrote this because I care about my school.
Luckily, Grant is an established student politician. He has been a member of SGA since his freshman year and is also a member of the prestigious North Texas 40, which is comprised of the 40 most qualified leaders on campus. In his campaign it was evident he cares about UNT, which is all a student can ask for in a candidate.
I did not endorse either candidate, and will not disclose who I voted for. However, I hope Grant and his running mate Barrett Cole will use their power to better UNT. More importantly I hope this time next year, we show up in greater numbers and prove that students do in fact care about UNT.
Photo by: Jesse Brackeen